Nu-metal wasn’t the only thing that sucked about the late ‘90s, at least not for the young protagonists of director Kevin Phillips’ debut feature, Super Dark Times. Set in the seemingly idyllic environment of upstate New York, the film opens with best friends Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) and the rest of their high-school friends riding bikes and talking shit while hanging out in the woods, like teenage boys are prone to do. The whole scenario seems reminiscent of Stand By Me, but in this case, the boys don’t just find a dead body, they help make one when the typical teen-boy activity of goofing around with somebody’s brother’s samurai sword takes a tragic turn.

We won’t spoil what happens after that inciting incident, but after seeing Super Dark Times at the Fantasia International Film Festival, we can attest that this stylish, pitch-black coming-of-age drama/thriller goes in some shocking directions that you might not see coming. Super Dark Times debuts in select theaters on September 29, and on VOD on October 3.